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Eakins to Yakupov: ‘You’ve got to earn it’

Dec 30, 2013, 2:24 PM EDT

Dallas Eakins

Edmonton head coach Dallas Eakins met with the media on Monday following the decision to make Nail Yakupov a healthy scratch against Phoenix on Tuesday, explaining that Yakupov had to “earn” his spot in the lineup.

“You’ve got to earn it,” Eakins said, per the Oilers website. “You’ve got to do a number of things on the ice every day. Every day. It can never change.

“We cannot give things to people. You have to earn them.”

Eakins said he and Yakupov met for approximately 45 minutes on Monday — a “long, in-depth” talk that Eakins figured was the longest he’s had with a player this year — and said the two addressed some issues.

“Him and I have sorted out a few things,” Eakins explained. “It was a good conversation — at least it ended well. We have a definite plan moving forward.”

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